Clubs refuse to bail out debt-ridden Portsmouth
Thursday 25 February 2010
Portsmouth owner Balram Chainrai has been told at a meeting with Premier League officials that they cannot bail out the financially-stricken club.
Chainrai and his representatives met Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore and general secretary Mike Foster yesterday and revealed to them the club is likely to go into administration tomorrow.
Scudamore explained the situation in terms of the cash Portsmouth will receive this season and, as now seems certain, if they are relegated.
A further payment of £5m from television money will become available before the end of the season and, following relegation, parachute payments of £16m per year for two years.
Chainrai's spokesman, Phil Hall, said: "We had a very cordial meeting to explore all possibilities and any help the Premier League might give Portsmouth FC going forward."
The Premier League officials also told Chainrai they could not advance the club any money ahead of the due payment date.
Chainrai has served notice the club will go into administration, unless a buyer comes forward tomorrow, in order to avoid Monday's winding-up hearing at the High Court.
Meanwhile, Pompey chief executive Peter Storrie has confirmed he has already been in talks with an administrator – and that he is prepared to take a substantial pay cut. Storrie is one of the highest-paid chief executives in the Premier League, with an annual salary believed to be at least £1.2m.
Storrie said: "I have already spoken to the administrator and he wants to keep things settled, which means me staying on. I will work with him and I believe he wants me to help him sell the club to the right person.
"There will be cuts at all levels. That's something for the administrator to do to make sure the club keeps going. I will be taking a big cut as well.
"I've seen salary figures of £1.4m bandied around for me but my basic salary is less than half of what has been reported. The rest of it has been a bonus given by [former owner] Sacha Gaydamak every year. That's in recognition of me keeping the club going for him by selling players. But I am prepared to cut my basic [pay] quite substantially."
One possible big loser from the club going into administration is Gaydamak, who says he is still owed £30m.
Some fans have blamed Storrie and former manager Harry Redknapp for overspending on players and wages, but the Tottenham manager said: "It never entered my mind when I was there, that there would be problems. The club was run well."
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